Saturday, 28 January 2012

Where Has All The Flowery Language Gone?

It has taken one whole week to realise that the letter from Uganda might have been a scam.

It took me another week to realise, for certain, that it was.

It was thanks to a letter I found at the bottom of a drawer. Sent fifteen years ago by a friend who had been scammed by a guy from Zaire.

He loved the man's gall and use of language and gall. He had obviously been sitting writing this letter with a copy of Who's Who on one side of the desk and the Oxford English Dictionary on the other. Remember it was before the days of Google. He has misused the dictionary splendidly. Perhaps by now he is a scriptwriter for a soap opera. He deserves success.

The letter goes:

Dear Sir,

I beg to come near your honour to wish you birthday and to ask you help.

If anyone deserves a Birthday (10 December 1925) Bright with happiness and cheer. There's no doubt it's you dear Sir Leviathon Pinkerton Frobisher Brabinger, Happy Birthday, happy year. Light all your Birthday. And good luck all your pathways. Bless in some delightful way. That you may feel life's worthwhile. To greet with sunny smile. Happy Birthday 10 DECEMBER 1996.

Kindly absurd me that I tell you concerning my miserable person. I'm married and father of one daughter. I'm disgraced in life, fit in by exhilerating garb and hyps, alimentation, a bag full with grass where my body finds pause, my studies missed by penniless and less of sustenance. All this life dwelling into charity.

Wishfull to brighten up, josteled by the wind, I have no hope in the future. Dear sir, I am disarous to proceed with  studies and to find speedy financial possibility that can help me to calm famine. Then after more difficulties to whom I can't meet I call over from your willing assistance with:

- 500 £ and CAMERA plus Zoom (sending will be recommended with acknowledgement to avoid theft).

I expect to hear from you favourable because you're shrewd. My piteous request should raise up to you sympathy and altruism.

I very much appreciate your interest at me and hope that you will not hesitate to let me know if I can be of any additional assistance.

Truly yours.

Nelson Bloggs
P.O.Box Zaire

(Names, dates etc  you may have suspected have been changed)

I was sympathetic until he asked for a camera. Not just any old camera, but a camera with zoom. But regardless of whether it is true or a scam, the thing I like best is the flowery use of language. It highlights the boring state of the English language today. Whenever you turn on the television or radio there are people speaking in clinical language about 'fatalities', 'inappropriate behaviour' and general other stilted forms of slang, text speak or officialese or pseudo-American and Australian phrases as 'Hiya' and 'I'm good thanks'.

That's enough of a rant from an ageing grump. Nothing you can do about it. Language is always evolving. I guess if you can't beat them - join them - so see ya. ciao ciao, mea culpa and hasta la vista baby.

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